The cervix is the bottom-most region of a woman’s uterus. Most part of the womb is located in the pelvic region but the cervical part is in the vaginal region. This is where the uterus connects to the vagina. Cancer causes an abnormal increase in the size and number of cells in the cervical tissue. The chances of metastasis (spreading to other organs) are less in cervical cancer. However, if cancer does spread, then the regions affected are the lungs, liver, bladder, rectum, and vagina.
If detected early and treated promptly, then there is an increased chance of recovery and cure; as the growth from normal to cancerous tissue is relatively slow in the cervical region.
Thanks to heightened awareness of the disease, most women take sufficient precautions to prevent the disease. If, in spite of all the caution, the problem does arise, being able to diagnose it early leads to prompt and effective intervention.
Causes Of Cervical Cancer
- Many abnormal changes in the cervical tissue lead to the disease
- Usually caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV); this virus is sexually transmitted; Not all HPV lead to cancer. They may also cause genital warts.
- Early sexual activity
- Multiple sexual partners
- The practice of taking birth control pills; the practice of taking pills for more than five years increases the risk of cancer
- Smoking: The chemicals in cigarette smoke interact with cervical cells to increase the risk of cancer
- Pap tests can tell you whether the cervical cells have become cancerous.
Symptoms Of Cervical Cancer
Just like any other form of cancer, cervical cancer has no symptoms in the early stages. The pain usually is felt in the advanced stage of this illness. The normal symptoms are
- Vaginal bleeding besides menstruation; could be due to many reasons. However, when menopause has set in and bleeding occurs then prompt care is essential
- For those who have not reached the menopausal stage, the illness may lead to very heavy menstrual bleeding and/or bleeding when there is no menstruation
- Vaginal bleeding accompanied by confusion, exhaustion, light-headedness, weakness, or fainting spells need immediate attention
- Frequent vaginal discharge that is not normal
Treatment Of Cervical Cancer
- The primary aim of cervical cancer treatment is to prevent the precancerous cells from becoming malignant after timely and effective Pap Smear tests
- Tissue/cells are removed for biopsy and the progress of the disease is investigated
- If the innermost cells are free from cancer then cancer treatment procedures are discontinued
- If the deepest cells are malignant or precancerous then treatment is continued by removing the tissue growths; with every removal, there is a continuous check to see if cancer/precancerous cells have been destroyed or removed.
Home care In Case Of Cervical Cancer
Though cancer is not the kind of ailment that can be treated with self-care, there are several things that you can do at home to help minimize risks and/or symptoms.
- Follow a nutritious and balanced diet
- The various side effects of cancer and its treatment can be well managed when your food intake has the right amount of calories and nutrients.
A person who eats healthily can handle problems like nausea, mouth sores, and vomiting (side effects of chemotherapy) better than a person who does not eat well.